Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Teapot Hat

So often my inspiration comes as a challenge from a potential customer. So it was with this teapot hat. A customer had seen someone wearing one and, since she couldn't convince that person to sell it off her head, she asked if I could knit a teapot hat. I was sure I could, and when I had a few spare minutes, I gave it a go. Here is the result. I think it turned out great, particularly as it was my first attempt. I basically just winged it.

The hat prompted my son to sing the "I'm a Little Teapot" song, of course. Can't you just see a room full of pre-schoolers wearing hats like this and singing? They'd be cute in pastel colors....

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Speed Knitting

I was looking at my new Knit Picks catalog that came in the mail today. On the back cover, it shows a picture of this woman from Holland, named Miriam Tegels, who holds the worlds' record for speed knitting. She can knit 118 stitches per minute. A YouTube of her knitting can be seen here This woman is wicked fast! Her technique is interesting. She carries the yarn in her left hand like I do (continental style), but when she's knitting on straight needles she anchors one long needle under her armpit as she knits.

Well, says I, I wonder how fast I knit? Fortunately, my husband was home and could time me. I tested myself 4 times using only the knit stitch. I was knitting in the round on a circular needle.

And, my home-tested knitting speed is....drum roll please....ta-da! 70 stitches per minute. I've got some practicing to do before I can break the worlds' record, but I'm still pretty fast!

Here's a video giving tips for fast knitting.

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Brand New Year

At the urging of a loyal blog follower, I have decided to post an update. During the winter, I spend so much time knitting up orders for cupcake hats, I feel guilty spending much time on the computer.

This year I got myself into trouble over orders. I tried to predict how quickly I could get the hats knitted and mailed, but when people started ordering 3-piece sets of scarves, hats and mittens, it slowed me way down. I had one customer cancel an order because I didn't have it ready before Christmas. I felt terrible! Next year, I will be more careful, and give myself plenty of time. After all, I do have a life outside of knitting--seven kids to raise, to begin with!

So, here is a picture of the hat/mitten/scarf set. I wish I had time to make one for my daughter in the photo. Her birthday is tomorrow.

This was my attempt to create an Elmo look-alike hat. I was told it doesn't look enough like Elmo. Hmm. I think it's pretty cute. Maybe the nose should be smaller....

I was at the oral surgeon's today with my 2nd son. He had his wisdom teeth out. While there, I worked on yet another cupcake hat. The receptionist asked about what I was making and I told her about my Etsy shop. Right then and there she logged onto my store on her computer! She admired my work, suggested a local boutique, and told me I'm not charging nearly enough. I am a bargain hunter, and I hate to charge people too much, but on the other hand, I really need for these hats to be worth my while, and they take 4 hours each to make! The scarves take all day to make.

I feel like I should make some kind of knitting New Year's Resolution. Okay. Here goes. I resolve to knit during spring and summer to stock up on hats so I don't have to spend all my time knitting during the holidays! I further resolve to continue to give my customers my best work, every time.